For the record, very little of this drive that took us through nowhere Wyoming would be described as particularly scenic. This became apparent very early on, and our first inclination was to just blast through all of it and get to the part where we would be driving through The Grand Tetons. However, we have a little passenger that still requires periodic reprieves from the thrill of the open road. We made our first diaper changing stop at Fossil Butte National Monument. It's not a super exciting place, but the visitor's center was interesting, and the National Park Service is good about always having changing tables and clean restrooms, so we saw no reason not to stop.
|Always a huge fan of Dad.|
|An impressive display of fish fossils from the area.|
|My people with the fish fossils.|
|Vivian waving to me, as though she expected that she and her Dad would just be continuing this vacation without me.|
|And of course, all of us with the sign.|
|Everyone is thrilled to be out of the car for a bit.|
The next morning Vivian had me awake much earlier than I wanted to be awake, but since I was awake we were able to make an early checkout and get into Yellowstone at a decent hour. We decided to spend the day on the north end of the park, since that's the end that neither of us have ever seen.
We stopped at a spot, that we still have no idea what it was actually called. It was full of hot springs. We ran into an elderly couple there. The wife stopped to chat with us for a second. She asked us how hot we thought the water is in that spot. We told her that according to some of our reading, the water in the area is extremely hot. She seemed surprised and then admitted to us that she had already TOUCHED the water to test the temperature. Honestly, I think Justin and I just stared at her in silence for a second, because she hastily added that it was clear over on the edge, and that it hadn't really seemed all that hot. Who decides to stick their finger in water that appears to be boiling in places, just to see if it's really THAT hot? She does. That's who. It was so weird.
|Our first stop of the morning at this place with hot springs.|
Our next stop was Gibbon Falls.
Next we continued on to Porcelain Loop, part of the Norris Geyser Basin.
|She's been doing this ridiculous cheesy grin lately.|
|The falls were small, pretty, but the place was packed. UEA weekend, it was all people from Utah.|
|On the banks of a little pond at the end of the loop.|
|She had this astonished reaction to basically every hot springs we saw.|
|Some of the Norris Geyser Basin|
|It was hard to get a good picture of this one.|
|Her cheeks just finally got too heavy.|
|The Upper Falls|
|The temperature was already dropping.|
By the time we arrived at our hotel we decided that despite our plans to return to Grand Tetons the next day to do some exploring before we left for Boise, that we really should just save that for another trip. We left for Boise the next morning. The good news is that we had a great time with the family. We arrived in time to spend a little time visiting baby Caroline and her parents, get lost in a corn maze that basically turned into a giant mud pit in the pouring rain, and now we still have all of Grand Tetons left to explore another day. We're looking forward to that day.